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Google hit with record $5 billion fine by the EU for Android antitrust violations

By Shawn Knight · 15 replies
Jul 18, 2018
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  1. The European Commission on Wednesday fined Google a record €4.34 billion ($5.06 billion) for breaching EU antitrust laws. Specifically, the commission said Google used illegal practices regarding Android devices to bolster its dominant position in the search engine market.

    In announcing the fine, the European Commission said Google required manufactures to pre-install the Google Search app and its Chrome browser “as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store).” Regulators also claim Google prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling devices running forked versions of Android and made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app on their devices.

    Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who oversees the competition policy, said Google’s practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete and denied European consumers the benefit of effective competition in the mobile space which is illegal under EU antitrust rules.

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the decision against Android in a blog post, noting that the commission’s decision “ignores the new breadth of choice and clear evidence about how people use their phones today.” The decision also “rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less.”

    Pichai said Google intends to appeal the decision.

    Lead image courtesy Getty Images

    Permalink to story.

  2. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 845   +349

    I wouldn't pay it.
    sasat likes this.
  3. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 720   +457

    By that logic Apple is guilty for their Appstore on iphones?
    Mikael_r and Roman Architect like this.
  4. enemys

    enemys TS Maniac Posts: 173   +170

    No, since Apple is the one creating iPhones/iPads - they aren't licensing iOS or App Store to anyone.
    Impudicus likes this.
  5. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 720   +457

    Not even for putting Google as the main search provider?
    Roman Architect likes this.
  6. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    I can’t stand the EU. I hope Google don’t pay.
  7. Geoff Spears

    Geoff Spears TS Rookie

    What's really astonishing is how so many media outlets are downplaying the impact of a $5 billion fine on Google. One stated that the company makes that much in Revenue in three weeks and another just said: "even though the company can easily afford the fine" and went on to mention that the company had revenue of 31 billion in the first quarter, etc.

    The true way to look at this fine is as a percentage of profits - since you can't spend revenues (as any child could tell the media if they bothered to ask). Google had net income of $12.6 billion in 2017, so the EU fine is 40% of Google's total annual profits from last year.

    That is a massive, massive fine for Google or any company. In fact, it's the largest fine ever imposed on a company - easily beating and nearly doubling the last record of $2.7 billion which the EU imposed on Google last year.

    Imagine if a fine were imposed upon you that was equal to 40% of your annual net salary...would you think it was easily affordable and nothing to get upset about? ME EITHER!

    Either Google is the worst company in the EU when it comes to stifling competition or the EU has decided to use Google as it's personal ATM. The way they're trying to make the fine sound insignificant and proportionate suggests the latter.
  8. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 203   +80

  9. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +17

    Are you kidding? They've been doing this for years- How much did MS pay them?
    The EU has been after US corporations for decades- just like the rest of the liberal world- including the US media.
    kombu likes this.
  10. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +17

    F... the EU. Don't pay it- Let them try to collect it, or force their people not to use Google products.
    kombu likes this.
  11. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 203   +80

    I'd like EU to ban those creepy google "products", but well, I'm different :p
    GDPR will have to do, lovin' it.
  12. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Booster Posts: 163   +57

    Simple - don't pay.

    Let them 'kick' you out of Europe due to it, (a dying non-elected super-state), and since you are a digital economy - you can just trade with us from abroad.

    I guess since they about to lose billions from UK contributions shortly, they are grabbing at the easiest perceived targets first...
    kombu likes this.
  13. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 203   +80

    And it's all in Putin's interest.
  14. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Booster Posts: 163   +57

    What the **** does this have to do with Russia?
  15. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 203   +80

    I hope you're not trying to say that Russia has nothing to do with Brexit? Or that weakening of transatlantic alliances is not in their interest?

    "I don't see how it would be Russia. I mean wouldn't." :p
  16. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 720   +457

    Well, it is like history repeating itself when it was US versus Soviet Union in the past.

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